Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts says pitcher Trevor Bauer is still on track to start Sunday against the Washington Nationals while police and Major League Baseball investigate an assault allegation made against the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner.
Police in Pasadena, California, are investigating claims by a woman who has also obtained a protection order against Bauer, according to her attorney. Jon Fetterolf, Bauer’s co-agent, has disputed the allegations.
Roberts said Thursday that Bauer's availability to pitch is “out of our hands,” deferring to the league. Under the Joint MLB-MLBPA Domestic Violence Policy, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has the power to place a player on administrative leave while allegations are investigated.
“I’m in the position of following the lead of Major League Baseball,” Roberts said. “Their recommendation was for us to ... he was our scheduled (starter) Sunday, and to move forward and start that game on Sunday. And so for me to try to read into it anymore outside of what they advised me and us to do, I just choose to follow their lead.”
Players can be suspended without being charged with a crime under MLB’s domestic violence policy, which was collectively bargained. Teams cannot enforce discipline unless the league approves.
Roberts said he has spoken with Bauer but would not share details of their conversation. He also declined to comment on multiple follow-up questions.
Bauer emerged from the Dodgers clubhouse and hopped onto the field pregame Thursday just before 5 p.m. He threw in right field before gathering his things in the bullpen and returning to the dugout. Bauer swiftly walked past reporters, down the dugout steps and back into the clubhouse when asked to comment.
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A hearing in Bauer’s case is scheduled for July 23.
The protection order was obtained under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act and was the result of an “assault that took place at the hands of Mr. Bauer” where the woman “suffered severe physical and emotional pain,” attorney Marc Garelick said.
Fetterolf disputed the allegations that Bauer committed any nonconsensual violence. He said Bauer met the woman in April, and the two had “a brief and wholly consensual sexual relationship initiated” by the woman.
Bauer is 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA this season for Los Angeles. He signed a three-year, $102 million deal with the Dodgers in the offseason.